Plot: What’s it about?
The hottest toy of the season is the Good Guys doll, which happen to be all that young Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) wants for his birthday. But the doll’s popularity means sold out stores and since his mother couldn’t find one, Andy unwrapped a big box of clothes instead. Of course he is disappointed, but his mom soon gets a chance to turn that around, when she buys a Good Guys doll from a man in an alleyway. But little does she know the doll was part of a twisted voodoo ritual that involved serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif). When corned by police in a toy store, Ray used the ritual to not only escape, but to fuse his soul into the doll, or so he hoped. Now however, Ray must move his soul into a human host or be stuck inside the doll forever. As violence begins to erupt around him, can Andy survive the doll’s onslaught?
I’ve seen a decent amount of killer doll movies, but when it comes to fame, none are well known as Chucky. I don’t think Child’s Play is the best movie in the sub-genre, but it is solid and well made. Unlike the later films in the series, this first film has a serious tone and offers some genuine chills at times. Chucky might be a doll and might have some one-liners, but this is a horror movie first and foremost. So don’t expect a wisecracking doll here, Chucky is all business and spends more time killing than talking, no doubt about that. The serious tone works too, so this never seems silly, despite the odd premise involved. Brad Dourif is great as Chucky’s voice, while the rest of the cast is capable and also performs well. Child’s Play isn’t that bloody or gruesome, but the tension is thick and there is some violence. If you’re a horror fan of even the casual level, Chucky’s debut is a film you need to see, so Child’s Play is recommended.
Video: How does it look?
Child’s Play is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a middle of the road visual effort, due to limitations within the source material. The inherent grain here is prominent, which is fine, as softness is better than a overly wiped image that looks nothing like film. So no, detail is not that strong and in truth, this offers a minimal upgrade over the DVD. But for fans, that small visual bump will be appreciated. In the end, this is a mediocre visual presentation, but I am glad the image was allowed to look natural, instead of over processed.
Audio: How does it sound?
This DTS HD 5.1 option offers a better soundtrack than previous home video incarnations, but remains a rather restrained soundtrack. The most active element is the music, which sounds quite good here. The surrounds don’t do much outside of the music, but the sound design is to blame, not this mix. The dialogue remains clear throughout, so no concerns there. This release also includes a 2.0 surround option, Spanish and French language tracks, and subtitles in English and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
A total of three audio commentaries are on deck, the first two with a mix of cast & crew members, while the third is from Chucky himself. While only scene specific, these Chucky comments were a lot of fun and a welcome inclusion. The standard tracks offer a good deal of behind the scenes information as well. A collection of six featurettes can also be perused, though none have much in terms of depth or real insight. Even so, you’ll find some worthwhile interviews and information on how Chucky was brought to life on screen. This release also includes some still photos and the film’s theatrical trailer. A second disc houses a DVD version of the movie, in case you ever need that.